Celebrating the UK's trailblazing women - and inspiring the next generation

The First Women Programme was created by Real Business in 2005 and brings together outstanding women from all sectors.

The programme has created an enthusiastic and dedicated network of pioneering women, who engage directly through a series of high profile First Women events, including the Awards, Winners Lunch and Summit.

Real Business is the UK's is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs with 124,623 monthly unique visitors (ABC audit March 2015).

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Working Lunch

At the First Women Working Lunch our inspirational winners and judges gathered to set the agenda for the 2016 First Women Summit.

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This full day summit leverages ten years of the First Women movement, drawing on the phenomenal network of pioneering women the Awards has created to educate, mentor and inspire.

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Founded by Real Business and the CBI. Since 2005, the awards have grown in influence and impact and enjoy the support of many of the UK’s leading firms, industry bodies and inspirational business leaders.

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First Women Exclusives

Researchers found that gender biases in image search results affected how people perceived certain occupations

Is there a reasonable reason why the first female CEO in Google images is Barbie?

When you type the word "CEO" into Google images, you'll need to scroll down rows of men – and generic pictures – before you finally reach a female CEO. And [...]

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How many women can you spot in this image?

How the Consumer Electornic Show reveals tech sector needs to press the button for gender equality

While attending the Consumer Electornics Show, Mark Soden, MD of Norman Broadbent, explained that while the newest products were on display, it was blatantly obvious there was a lack of [...]

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"Reporting on diversity – gender just being one aspect – is key here," Sacks said

Money isn’t everything when it comes to enticing women onto boards

Boards should remember that recruitment is a two way process: it’s not just appointing women to join the existing board but it's important for the board to make membership an [...]

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yvonne-baker (3)

How to add diversity to the STEM sector

With indications pointing to qualifications in STEM being in record demand, inspiring young people from an early age in such subjects is essential, according Yvonne Baker, CEO of Myscience.

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"At every step of my career, I’ve had to fight hard to gain my seat at the table"

“With hard work and self-belief women have the opportunity to achieve their career goals”

Bridget McIntyre, founder of dream on, which helps women reach their full potential in the workplace, reveals her experience of making it in a man’s world.

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"Women are clearly in high demand in the technology sector"

In order for tech industry not to fall behind in gender inequality, it needs to consider female candidates

Women in business is a topic which dominated the news for much of 2015, but as the technology industry sets out a host of hot topics, it is essential that [...]

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Join the conversation #RBFIRSTWOMEN

Sarah Pumffrey Sarah Pumffrey @spumffreynwb RT @LizNKeensMK: @JanFlawn talking about her greatest achievements at #RBFirstWomen #inspiration https://t.co/KxmTT52Fh0 13 hours ago
Sarah Pumffrey Sarah Pumffrey @spumffreynwb RT @JeanGowin: Great day with @MK_WL @JanFlawn and all the lovely ladies - thank you everyone #RBFirstWomen #coachtrip #MK 13 hours ago
HJ HJ @hjboyes1 RT @GlobalWomanCo: Enjoying the debate with #Grace Boswood @YourBBCDigital @HelenFraserGDST @yvonnebaker at #RBFirstWomen happening now htt… 14 hours ago
Helen Fraser Helen Fraser @HelenFraserGDST RT @GlobalWomanCo: Enjoying the debate with #Grace Boswood @YourBBCDigital @HelenFraserGDST @yvonnebaker at #RBFirstWomen happening now htt… 16 hours ago
Steven Randell Steven Randell @SBRandell RT @Real_Business: .@Kathbum's journey from @Hooters Girl to controversial superstar https://t.co/xGK0UpTKRx #RBFirstWomen #business https:… 16 hours ago
Hatch Mott MacDonald Hatch Mott MacDonald @HatchMott RT @MottMacDonald: Follow @RChapmanHarris for more insights into diversity! #RBFirstWomen #WomenInSTEM https://t.co/W68mk1dkJN 19 hours ago
Real Business Real Business @Real_Business .@Kathbum's journey from @Hooters Girl to controversial superstar https://t.co/xGK0UpTKRx #RBFirstWomen #business https://t.co/n2IloY31I1 20 hours ago